Summer’s no holiday for ticks

July 26, 2011

The school holidays are finally here, with children across the UK excitedly swapping classroom life for summer fun. All too often, though, they – and their parents – will be out and about, unaware of the dangers of ticks and the associated potential problem of Lyme disease.

Whatever your summer plans, whether it’s heading away or staying put, remember to keep an eye out for ticks. The size of a full stop, these tiny blood-sucking parasites peak in population from April to October and are found throughout the UK, North America and across Europe. Whether picnicking in the UK, camping in France, walking in Scandinavia or going further afield this summer, you need to be tick-aware. The same goes for the city, too, as ticks can also be found in parks. So, if you’re looking forward to days out in the countryside, BBQs in the garden or evenings spent outdoors, you can still have fun…you just need to be careful.

The charity Lyme Disease Action advises on ways for families to stay safe, warning them to keep well covered if out in the countryside, to use a Deet-based insect repellent, to check regularly for ticks (including children’s scalps) and to take a tick remover away with them. For more information or to buy a tick remover, visit www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk.

Helena Hamlyn.